Browse > Home /

Independent: January launch ‘highly probable’ for Sun on Sunday

September 19th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

It is “highly probable” that the Sun on Sunday will launch in January, media commentator Stephen Glover predicted in the Independent today.

In his article on the rumoured new Sunday paper, Glover also explains why he thinks a Sun on Sunday makes better business sense than the News of the World, which “despite selling some 2.8 million copies a week, was barely breaking even”.

Glover argues that the Sun will need to recruit a fraction of the 160 News of the World journalists in order to “produce a seventh-day edition of the newspaper”.

If it sells at 50p (half the price of the News of the World, and cheaper than Sunday red-top rivals) it would probably be profitable with a circulation of a million. In the event, it may well sell many more copies than that.

Glover describes the axing of the News of the World and anticipated creation of the seven-day Sun as a “cynical charade” by the Murdochs.

In other words, far from being a sacrifice, shutting down the Sunday red-top and launching a seventh-day edition of The Sun carries a significant economic benefit. The Murdochs were able to represent themselves as acting decisively and almost altruistically – rather as a farmer might regretfully shoot a rabid dog that has been a cherished family pet. Now it turns out that the dog was old, unloved and expensive to keep, and there is a young puppy waiting in the wings which will be a much better proposition. The whole process has been a cynical charade.

He also argues the case against the launch of a red-top title from Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail. After an initial boost for the Mail on Sunday, sales have now slowed, according to August circulation figures, and Glover suggests “Associated would probably be wise to stay away”.

Glover’s full post is at this link.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Phone hacking: Rebekah Brooks’ lawyer’s statement

Rebekah Brooks’ laywer has apparently released a statement this afternoon claiming she is ‘not guilty of any criminal offence’.

The statement follows Brooks’ arrest yesterday, as part of the Metropolitan Police investigations into phone hacking and corruption.

The position of Rebekah Brooks can be simply stated. She is not guilty of any criminal offence. The position of the Metropolitan Police is less easy to understand. Despite arresting her yesterday and conducting an interview process lasting nine hours, they put no allegations to her, and showed her no documents connecting her with any crime.

They will in due course have to give an account of their actions, and in particular their decision to arrest her, with the enormous reputational damage that this has involved.

In the meantime,  Mrs Brooks has an appointment with the culture, media and sport select committee tomorrow. She remains willing to attend and to answer questions. It is a matter for Parliament to decide what issues to put to her and whether her appointment should place at a later date.

(Hat-tip to Channel 4 News’ home affairs producer Marcus Edward.)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Reaction round-up on News of the World closure

The morning after the announcement that News International is to scrap the News of the World has predictably spawned a variety of reaction from the blogosphere.

Despite rumours that folding the newspaper in favour of a seven day Sun had been on the cards for a while (TheSunOnSunday.co.uk, TheSunOnSunday.com and SunOnSunday.co.uk were all registered on July 5, albeit by a private individual), a source at News International confirmed today that a Sunday edition of the paper wouldn’t be on the cards for several weeks to come.

This morning Times today led with a story that the collapse in advertising was due to online protest and the final nail in the coffin for the paper.

The withdrawal of advertising appeared to be in response to a public backlash that had been led primarily on the internet. Thousands of people had used Twitter and Facebook to express their outrage at allegations of phone hacking at the paper.

This was after a list of the News of the World’s advertising clients had been published online, encouraging people to send Twitter messages to the companies to express concern at the activities of the paper’s journalists.

You can read the full article here (behind the paywall).

Emily Bell, director of the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism and former director of digital content for Guardian News & Media sees the decision as part of a long line of bold and audacious moves from the Murdochs, from the bid to buy the Times, to the launch of Sky News, and recently the proposed takeover of BSkyB.

James’s Wapping moment sees him making a gesture he hopes will be grand enough to soften the focus of any phone-hacking inquiry, bold enough to allow the company to extricate itself from present trouble and, in the process, allow him to reshape News International around the digital television platforms he feels both more comfortable with and which are undoubtedly more profitable.

But what about the wider implications? Many are agreed that the decision is brutal and the loss of 200 journalists terrible, but Andrew Gilligan, London editor for the Sunday Telegraph, argues that it could also give way to a muzzled British press in the future. As talk turns to how press regulation should be managed, Gilligan says:

For be in no doubt: hateful as the behaviour of some journalists has been, we may now face something even worse. For many in power, or previously in power, the News of the World’s crimes are a God-given opening to diminish one of the greatest checks on that power: the media.

Regulation was also on Alan Rusbridger‘s mind yesterday, when he took part in a live Q & A regarding phone hacking (before NI announced the News of the World’s closure). Rusbridger drew attention to alleged weaknesses of the PCC (the code committee of which Rusbridger quit in November 2009) and the quandary of state v self-regulation. Today the Press Complaints Commission sought to defend its work following calls for it to be scrapped by both Labour leader Ed Miliband and prime minister David Cameron.

This hasn’t been a wonderful advertisement for self-regulation. The short answer is that, no, the PCC can’t go on as it is. Its credibility is hanging by a thread.

We did say this back in November 2009 when the PCC came out with its laughable report into phone-hacking. We said in an editorial that this was a dangerous day for press regulation – and so it’s turned out.

The PCC has this week withdrawn that report and has a team looking at the issues and at the mistakes it’s made in the past.

I don’t know how Ofcom could do the job without falling into the category of statutory regulation. Does anyone else?

On her blog former Channel 4 presenter Samira Ahmed also draws some comparisons with the past, saying that the affair is “only my second major moral outcry against the news media” during her twenty years in journalism, the first being the death of Princess Diana. Hugh Grant has won public approval over the last week or so because of his overt opposition to phonehacking, but Ahmed is wary of putting people like Grant on a pedestal.

Many celebrities understand the privacy trade-off with press coverage, or get their lawyers to settle a payoff. Incidentally we should be wary of deifying celebrities, such as Hugh Grant, who have publicly defended the principle of rich people taking out superinjunctions to cover up their bad behaviour, when there might be a legitimate public interest. But I’ve met ordinary people over the years whose suffering has been deeply compounded by salacious press intrusion.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

‘The silence is almost eerie’: press holds back on phone hacking scandal

Allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World resurfaced this week following an investigation by the New York Times which looked at past allegations as well as a new case being legally pursued by a third party. This has led to calls today for a judicial review from industry bodies and politicians.

But coverage of the event by the rest of the media has come under criticism by numerous publications and bloggers.

Caroline Crampton at the New Statesman reflected on the issue the day after the story broke, when she claims the Guardian was the only national newspaper to have reported on the NYTimes article at the time.

The Times, the Telegraph, the Independent, the Daily Mail, the Sun and the Mirror all failed to cover the story at all. Considering that the investigation uncovers a widespread culture of phone-hacking at a major Sunday paper, with one source saying “Everyone knew. The office cat knew”, I would have thought that Fleet Street would have more to say about the low tactics employed by one of its number.

But the silence on the Coulson story from the rest is almost eerie. Papers are usually desperate to expose each other’s failures. Why are they holding back?

Online media watchdog Tabloid Watch makes the same points, while editor of the Liberal Conspiracy blog Sunny Hundal wrote on the Guardian website that while he expected News International publications to avoid the topic, he was disappointed by a lack of coverage on BBC radio early on.

It comes as little surprise News International subsidiaries and other tabloids have avoided it. But the BBC’s radio silence also speaks volumes: not just about their deference to the new administration, but of unwillingness to investigate their peers. It needed the New York Times to blow the story wide open again.

(…) The conscience of our country is determined more by Rupert Murdoch’s private interests than is healthy, already. These controversies say less about rightwing bloggers (whose smears are used as a proxy) and more about the collusion that takes place among the media establishment.

However the BBC has since followed up on the Time’s report, including an interview on Radio 4′s Today programme with Lord John Prescott this morning discussing his own concerns of being targeted by phone hackers while BBC Surrey’s Nick Wallis yesterday discussed the report, admitting that the BBC had only touched on the issue “from time to time” but said he would be writing to every Conservative MP in Surrey and asking them if they are happy that David Cameron kept former NOTW editor Andy Coulson as his PR man.

The article by the New York Times is due to be published in its Sunday magazine this weekend.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

NOTW website sees record traffic after Stephen Gately report

October 16th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Newspapers, Traffic

Visitor numbers to the News of the World’s website reached a record daily high of 585,000 last Sunday, according to the title. NOTW’s of pop singer Stephen Gately’s death, which ran that day, boosted the total, with 290,000 visits for that one day.

The traffic surge caused the website to proclaim victory of its printed rival The People, which sold fewer copies in print on the same day, the NOTW release boasted.

In comparison with last month’s Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic (ABCe) average daily unique user figures for other national newspaper sites, 585,000 may be a record for the News of the World, but other papers’ sites posted higher figures for August. Admittedly the NOTW figure was UK-only visitors, but average daily visits for TheSun.co.uk last month, for example, was 1,411,227.

Tags: ,

Similar posts:

Guardian.co.uk: Committee to hear police evidence for NOTW phone hacking inquiry

The Guardian reports that the ‘fallout’ from its revelations in July, about News of the World’s use of phone hacking, will continue.

Next week the Commons culture, media and sport select committee will hear evidence from the information commissioner as well as from John Yates, assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, and detective chief superintendent Philip Williams.

Full story at this link…

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

© Mousetrap Media Ltd. Theme: modified version of Statement